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H5N8 HPAI in Northern Germany


Following recovery of H5N8 strain highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus from dead wild birds, it is considered inevitable that an outbreak would be diagnosed in commercial chickens in the northernmost German state of Schleswig-Holstein near the border with Denmark.


The infection was rapidly diagnosed, and the flock was depleted.  This index farm will obviously not be the only case in coming weeks as authorities recognize the extent of shedding H5N8 virus by migratory birds. 


Following results of surveillance on wild waterfowl, Holland, France, and Germany have advised farmers to confine flocks to avoid exposure to HPAI.  Half of the Departments in France are regarded as being at high-risk with free-range chickens and waterfowl.


The events in Western Europe should represent a caution for producers in the U.S.